Muhumba is a street I lived in for two years. The way you pronounce is by putting your lips together as if you were about to kiss and make the sound that cows make: MOOH and then OU and then MBA. That last sound is the same as for my last name. Anglophones and Francophones always chop up that sound and it doesn’t surprise or make me smile anymore because I often do the same with English and French words. Mba is a bantou sound and unless you have lived in any Sub Saherian African area, you might not know how to say it right.

For now, lets return to this street where I lived in for two years. My mother was renting an apartment at the time, and my favorite time of the day was the afternoon because during that afternoon, I could day dream for hours, looking at the way the wind picked up dust and twirled it around for a while or watch students walking back from school in their white and blue uniforms. My afternoon has even increased in interest since one of those school students who passed by was Basima. That name used to change the room temperature, accelerate my blood pressure and make Nature greener and more enchanting. Her uniform wasn’t any different than any other student. She was the same age as my cousin which meant 5 years older than I was. But in the midst of my day dreaming, she had come along, walking to her home as if she owned the ground she walked on and my heart knew not what to do with itself.

To make a story short, a year went by and I found myself in the same school as her, but she remained that mythical queen who walked down my street and the two times we met, my brain space had expanded to take in every detail of her and leave no room for words. Out of all the girls one could fall in love with, I had to go with no other than the most popular girl in high school. I had sleepless nights, wrote love letters, mocked myself, made up stories about us until I couldn’t take it anymore. Having been bred by romantic tales from “serious” literature, I decided to declare my love to her or die.

I went to her house, after summoning the gods and God to help me for a good two hours and asked her sister to talk to her. I spilled every bit of my heart to her on that beautiful afternoon. That afternoon was as beautiful as the ones I used to have until she came along. She cried but said nothing. I turned around and left. I wasn’t dead but I wish I was.

Muhumba is the street I will return one day and walk it back and forth and hopefully put to rest the ghosts from the past.



I make my way, hear me?

Before the sun rises and the smoke runs

I already mapped my way out

The open sky is my roof

the Earth’s pulse my resting place

I’m easy to be friends with

and yet so deadly to be enemy with

My name is Shadow

the open field is my kingdom

I surf the wind

and grip my fate like the furious stallion it is

The stars greet me as they fly by

and I know I’m not home

as every sunset finds me in the hole I dug the night before

So I tell to these feet to walk and not rest until the cup is full.

This is beautiful in depth and surface!

Susan Daniels Poetry

if i could stretch my spirit
to where you are, i would haunt you
through the door we call dreaming

but it is difficult to spin a strand of self
that far, so instead i will call you here
sculpted of shadow where i want skin

sometimes distance is distance
& sometimes longing feels a little bit like loss.
perhaps we will dream an us together,
want drawn by want to a place where desire
is answered by touch, tangible
& real as the weight of your mouth moving over mine,
the heat of your breathing.

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On the subject of love

Falling in love is only possible on a first encounter; on the virginity of a first look, first gaze, first seduction.

After that you have to remember the first taste, you have to let your fingers rest like the classical pianist rest them on those black and white keys and let the song play in your head before your fingers follow through.

you would do well to embrace falling because if the first one was accidental, it has become intentional. Falling in love will now require preparation, slow and deep breath, gently bent knees and a look so fierce in determination that the gravity of routine can’t and won’t hold you down for too long.

Sometimes this love thing happens in shades, eye twinkles, skin brushing against skin and heart heavy silence where one mind sends to another flashes of moments. Those “you remember when” moments that only intimacy makes its different shades known.

It’s true that with time, every fall gets harder because when it comes time to getting up, you are not just bringing yourself up. No, you pull you and all of what and who has made who you are till then and sometimes between rising and standing, you get lost in the labyrinth of memories and standing never occurs.

It isn’t just youth that’s wasted on the young, love is too. Like wine, the grapes of love  must have grown on a land that has received sun and rain in the right amounts and the subtle but ever present care of a guardian and finally left for forgotten for a while before it brings merriment to the heart.

Love grows in that space and in those fragile hours of naked desire, where the land extends before oneself unexplored and inviting and there’s no frontiers to how far and deep dreams could go, foraging and unearthing precious stones reserved only to gods.


On the subject of fear

saliva is always first to leave my mouth hanging me to dry

then my neck (sometimes my pants) bulges with excitement

it then runs all over my skin causing a racket like wind in a savannah

and the worst part is it’s just warming up

The next thing I know words, thoughts, sounds and images take on weight

my eyes betray me

my lips speak out of turn

gravity stops holding me

the north star refuses me direction

my heart knocks for a way out my chest

They are all after me

they all want a piece of me

To swallow me whole and leave me

dust for dust

ashes for ashes

but they don’t know

they don’t know that dust rises like smoke

and you can sweep it today but it will be back tomorrow.

On the subject of inner peace

Inner peace is on the surface of skin. When those lips stop twitching and your face relaxes, your eyes stop flickering and the hair on your skin stops rising.

It also hides just underneath your toes as you gently let them uncurl and embrace the soil, and you can hear the dum dum the Earth is sending to your heart.

It revolves, twists and rolls up in the air when you meet people you don’t really like, but you are too coy to see it so you pretend without knowing and stays at your civilized manners, holding your breath in while everything inside wants to scream out.

Inner peace, so elusive, so capricious, waiting at the corner for me, playing hide and seek with my heart,even when my life depends on it. No worries, I will set up traps in this home, in these eyes for you and me, nothing rushed, nothing brusque, it will be all blues and jazzy.